Smackdown SyFy Debut Thoughts & Review [10. 1. 10]

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New intro.  I can’t say enough about the special effects used for the finisher sequences.

Oklahoma City.

Awesome.  Two wrestlers are already in the ring.

IC Title Match:  MVP vs. Dolph Ziggler

  • Nice consecutive belly to back suplexes by MVP.
  • The Nexus run in and attack Dolph on the outside.
  • MVP tries to fend off Otunga, Gabriel, Tarver and Slater.

No contest via Nexus interference.

Big Show comes down to the ring to a nice pop.
The Nexus attack and actually bring Show down to his knees and kick him out of the ring.
Cena’s muzak plays.  Cena runs into the ring only to get beat down.
Show gets a chair and smacks Slater on the back.  The Nexus retreat.

Wade Barrett comes on the Titantron.
He reminds everybody about his match stipulations with Cena at Hell in a Cell.
He asks Teddy Long to read Barrett’s match suggestions for the premier show:

  • 5 on 1 handicap match:  Big Show vs. Nexus
  • John Cena vs. Kane

–Nice way to start off a premier show on a new network.  I wish CM Punk started off the show but this was fine.  Seeing Vicky Guerrero freak out when Nexus attacked Dolph was a nice touch.  I’m pissed that I feel forced to watch Cena wrestle twice this week instead of only once on Monday night.  Drat.

LayCool & Maryse & Alicia Foxx vs. Bella Twins & Kelly Kelly & Natalya

  • Sick snap suplex by Natalya.
  • Natalya also hits a beautiful falcon arrow.
  • Hornswaggle grabs Layla from under the ring and then chases her.  McCool kicks the shit out of Hornswaggle.
  • Natalya slaps on a sharpshooter on Maryse.

WINNERS: Natalya & Co. via tapout.

–Nice to see a solid wrestler in the women’s division.  Natalya fills the void left by Mickey James.  I look forward to seeing her dominate the Divas in the coming months.  Yeah, that’s wishful thinking.


Jack Swagger is in the ring with a royal robe and the Swagger Soaring Eagle.

  • He tells the crowd that Texas is going to beat Oklahoma to HUGE heat.
  • He proclaims himself to be the official, undisputed King of Oklahoma.
  • He demands that his fellow Sooners worship him.

Edge gets in the ring.

  • Edge says he’s on a mission to rid the WWE of anything that is stupid.
  • Edge knocks out the SS Eagle and Swagger freaks out.
  • Edge spears the Eagle.  Great.

–So we import RAW stars to make the Smackdown stars look like chumps?  This is the type of shit that makes the casual fan change the channel.  It’s beyond ‘fun and entertaining’ and enters the realm of being absurd and insulting.  I suppose this is Edge’s face turn or perhaps tweener turn.

CUT TO THE BACK:
Wade Barrett is talking to the Nexus in the locker room.  They strategize about their role as lumberjacks in the Kane vs. Cena match.

Dashing Cody Rhodes Grooming Tips
DCR talks about extreme perspiration.  The solution?  Deodorant.  Now we’re one step closer to dashing.

–Okay.  I use deodorant and still sweat like a baby buffalo.  Go figure.

The Nexus come down.

Big Show vs. The Nexus

  • Cool to see a five Nexus members attack the Big Show.
  • Crazy submission where all five members choked out the Big Show by holding all of his limbs with Barrett choking Show out with a leg triangle.

Winners via choke: The Nexus

Barrett asks Gabriel to 450 Show twice.  Gabriel’s knees caught Show’s left arm on the second attempt.  Ouch.

–Surprised not to see the Big Show Royal Rumble spot where he pushes all five wrestlers down.  Very dope finish.  Let’s hope the Nexus sticks around after the Hell in a Cell pay per view.

Alberto Del Rio comes out with a mic.
He calls himself the great luchadore and Mexican Icon.  He said he’s there to say he’s sorry and he’s going to give him a big kiss right on the cheek.  He introduces Rey Mysterio and his ring announcer comes out holding a chihuahua wearing a luchadore mask.  Awesome.  He tells the dog that he’s sorry because he hurt him and kisses it on the cheek.

Rey Mysterio comes out for real and rushes the ring.  Rey dropkicks ADR into the 619 setup.  Rey is about to do the 619 but Ricardo grabs his leg while ADR escapes.  Rey manhandles him and gives him the 619 instead.

–Nice segment.  Rey got a nice pop but it wasn’t as big as I expected.  Nothing much to discuss here since ADR did his usual awesome performance.


CM Punk vs. The Undertaker

  • Paul Bearer comes out to lead the Deadman to the ring.
  • Punk sells his ass off here.
  • Undertaker hits the chokeslam-tombstone combo and that’s all she wrote.

WINNER: Undertaker

Undertaker kneels down to the Urn to huge pop and the show ends.

–It was cool to hear Striker recap the origins of Undertaker’s Urn.

Can’t say enough about Punk’s ability to express his emotions throughout a match.  He’s definitely a throwback to the days when wrestlers could hold the audience in their hands with just their reactions and solid storytelling in the ring.  This wasn’t a total squash but I really hope they Punk back on the winning track.

Randy Orton vs. Dashing Cody Rhodes w/ Drew McIntyre

  • Damn.  RKO out of nowhere.

WINNER: Randy Orton

Drew gets an RKO as well.
Sheamus attacks Orton from behind.  I’m watching Raw on Syfy.  Great.

–DCR is such an up and coming character and it’s a damn shame they squashed him this fast to the Rattlesnake Orton.  He barely got any of his signature offense in and even missed his Beautiful Disaster springboard kick, which was followed by an RKO.  Disappointing match that did nothing but bury DCR for the sake of hyping the Orton-Sheamus encounter at the pay per view.

God.  I’m waiting for someone to slip up and call Orton “the rattlesnake”.  It’s a sign of a good character turn when you forget about their past affiliation with an opponent.  I totally forgot about Legacy…or maybe I chose to forget about them.

Not digging the Raw influx of talent.  I enjoy Smackdown so much more when it’s a lean, blue Smackdown machine.  I guess this is what Smackdown will look like next year if and when they unify the titles.

John Cena vs. Kane w/ The Nexus as Lumberjacks

  • Cena clotheslines Kane over the top.  Nexus does nothing.
  • Nexus finally makes their move and Kane and Cena clean house.
  • Cena heads for the stage.
  • ‘Taker’s gong sounds and appears behind Kane and gives him an ass whupping.

No contest?


Paul Bearer raises the Urn when ‘Taker was about to get chokeslammed.
Taker countered it with his own and Kane escaped to avoid any more punishment.

–Typical Cena match where the heel dominates for the most of it before Cena hulks up and takes control with three moves.  The Nexus went from being the big deal of the night to a non-factor by the time the main event was over.  I’m glad to see Paul Bearer and all but for some reason I think he’s going to betray the Undertaker one more time.  I pray to the force that it doesn’t happen.

Observations and Notable Points

The Nexus
Nice to see the hottest angle arrive on Smackdown.  For the most part they were used wisely and looked more dominant than they have been in weeks.  I’m surprised they backed down after Kane and Cena held their ground.  You’d think a contingent of bad dudes would feel unstoppable if they disposed of the Undertaker on Raw a few weeks back.

I dunno.  If Cena wins and breaks up the Nexus I’ll be highly disappointed.  I think a Nexus-affiliated Cena vs. Randy Orton is a solid Wrestlemania main event.  I’m just stoked that I won’t have to see Cena wear his retarded purple gear anymore.  Good riddance.  No jinx.

Rawkdown
Didn’t think this episode needed the added Raw star power.  Edge was a pleasant surprise but it would have been more interesting to see him go heads up with Alberto Del Rio.  Swagger’s coronation was downright silly and it’s not his fault at all.  I’ll blame the writing/booking team for that garbage.  That being said, big ups to Swagger for giving his all in that segment.

CM Punk
Not sure if CM Punk is in the doghouse but he’s been getting destroyed by the Smackdown giants.  I don’t subscribe to dirtsheets so I have no idea if CM Punk is pissing off any upper management behind the scenes.  Hopefully, he will return to his rightful place at the top of the card sooner than later.  Punk is way too talented to be used as fodder for the giants of Smackdown.

The Show Overall
As far as the Hell in a Cell pay per view goes, I’m not really that excited for it.  The Daniel Bryan triple threat U.S. Title defense is the only match I’m psyched for.  Okay, I lie.  I am also looking forward to seeing Natalya win the Diva’s Unified Title via a Sharpshooter but I wouldn’t pay 40-plus bucks to see that.

This episode was pretty poor for a show that was trying to establish itself on a new network.  I know their audience is already built in but they had a chance to do something a little different here.  It would have been better to debut Smackdown on a Friday after a pay per view instead of on a Friday that leads into the pay per view weekend.  The bulk of this show was spent on hyping the Hell in a Cell matches and hardly anything else.  I look forward to watching next week when Smackdown will look like itself and the world will be right again.

*all pictures courtesy of wwe.com

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